News Analysis |
On Thursday, ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to face embarrassment when Pakistan People Party’s (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari rejected his offer to shake hands. In a scathing reply to Nawaz, Zardari said, “Nawaz remembers the Charter of Democracy only in case of a personal matter. Sorry, I cannot meet him”.
Hours after PPP rejected the meeting invitation from Nawaz, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah while talking to the media, claimed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief doesn’t need Zardari’s political crutches and support.
The incumbent law minister remarked “Nawaz Sharif didn’t say [anything] about meeting anyone. If he needs to meet anyone that is only for avoiding derailment of democracy and holding the next general election on time,” He further argued that Zardari is accused of derailing and sabotaging the politics of PPP and if PPP attempted to become an obstacle, it would tarnish the PPP’s claims of upholding democracy. He hoped that Zardari would not continue this behaviour to appease anyone [establishment].
Nawaz should have followed the path of PPP’s ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani. Considering that Nawaz had advised him of resigning in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Moreover, ex-Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid also spoke with journalists and explained that reasons for reconciliation efforts with PPP are primarily based on ensuring that the delimitation bill is passed on time and clears the way for timely 2018 elections. On Wednesday, shortly after his appearance in accountability court, disqualified ex-PM Nawaz had announced that he was prepared to shake hands with Zardari for the sake of the country.
Both the Zardari and his son Bilawal contemptuously turned away the olive branch offered and asked Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to get in contact with the PPP’s parliamentary leadership to deal with the matter. Zardari further said “We have empowered the parliamentary leadership to take decisions on matters of national importance. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not ready to meet him”.
Following the PML-N leaders, PPP leaders also joined the debate on media and various leaders speaking with TV channels dismissed the reports of possible Zardari and Nawaz meeting.
In his endeavour, Nawaz wants to rekindle the relationship with traditional foes hoping to make political gains during his time of dire need. The PML-N government is looking towards PPP to facilitate the government in passing the delimitation bill in the Senate.
The incumbent law minister remarked “Nawaz Sharif didn’t say [anything] about meeting anyone. If he needs to meet anyone that is only for avoiding derailment of democracy and holding the next general election on time,”
Political commentators and analysts had predicted that given the majority of PPP members in the Senate, PML-N would seek their help in passing the delimitation bill. Despite PPP’s criticism of Nawaz throughout his disqualification process and his subsequent indictment in the accountability court, it is surprising that PML-N is seeking the help of those who criticised and lamented them on corruption charges. But, in Pakistani politics, morals appear to be in short supply.
Ideally, Nawaz should have followed the path of PPP’s ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani. Considering that Nawaz had advised him of resigning in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. Now, when Nawaz was disqualified, he should have followed the footsteps of the former PPP leader and avoided the confrontational behaviour with institutions.
With Nawaz not following the democratic practices and challenging the institutions upright, is against democratic traditions. PPP’s stance to not provide the political cushion when needed is not against any institution or system but advocates the belief in democratic rights.
Zardari further said “We have empowered the parliamentary leadership to take decisions on matters of national importance. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not ready to meet him”.
If PPP fails to comply with the demands and needs of PML-N, how it will tarnish their image as a Democratic Party is questionable? Is confronting the judiciary unlike PPP undemocratic or using all the available resources from England to the USA through lobbyists to pressurize judiciary and establishment more undemocratic?
PPP apparently aims to respect the judiciary and democracy on its decisions. But, on the contrary, Nawaz continues his rhetoric against the establishment and judiciary on his ousting. In his attempt to regain political clout, it appears that Nawaz is aiming for timely elections through smooth delimitation process to facilitate/clear the way for his party to come to power again to confront those responsible for his ousting more confidently.